Engaging, mentally stimulating work is good for the brain, scientists say, whether you get paid to do it or not. Running a household can be as mentally demanding as running a company.
Seattle Police Detective Kevin Nelson (left) talks with U.S. Army soldiers at an October job fair at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., for soldiers who may exit military service in the next year.
Ted S. Warren/AP
A construction worker looks down on the site of the Manhattan West project last month in New York. Construction was among the hardest-hit sectors during the worst recession in modern memory.
Third-year medical student Allie Tetreault, left, talks with Gabrielle Nuki, 16, at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. Gabrielle helps med students practice patient care.
Mike Smith, of Long Beach, Calif., now pays $200 for his family's health insurance policy, compared with the $3,000 a month he would have had to pay on the individual market last year.
Stephanie O'Neill for NPR
Kiara Crawford, Brittney Winkler and Jessyca Freeman (left to right) were among those applying for work last month at a job fair in Washington, D.C. Early data from that month signal that job growth may have gained some speed.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images